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View Full Version : Oldish Hopto Excavator



Dickie
08-24-2006, 09:58 PM
Found this 'little gem' for sale in a mining town. It's the only Hopto I have seen with my own eyes; I guess they are rare because of how short a time they were made before the Gradall absorption. Just thought I would share this one.

dayexco
08-24-2006, 11:01 PM
actually, hopto is one of the oldest hydraulic backhoe/excavators out there. my dad bought his first 180 hopto in i think 52, after that, he had 3 or 4 200's.....and 1 - 300....

the model you have there, is one of the last models they produced.

biggixxerjim
03-23-2007, 05:47 PM
actually, hopto is one of the oldest hydraulic backhoe/excavators out there. my dad bought his first 180 hopto in i think 52, after that, he had 3 or 4 200's.....and 1 - 300....

the model you have there, is one of the last models they produced.

I thought Cat introduced the first hydraulic excavator, the 225, back in the mid 70's....????

dayexco
03-23-2007, 06:25 PM
cat from american manufacturer standpoint....was a latecomer in the game. the old american made hydraulic excavators....hopto, shield bantam, koerhing, hy-hoe, hein warner, american, hydra-unit, warner swasey, drott, bucyrus erie, northwest, all before cat entered the market...come on dudes, help me out, i know there are more than what i've got here.

CM1995
03-23-2007, 08:48 PM
P&H, O&K, Hydra-hoe?

nedly05
03-24-2007, 08:33 AM
The first hoes around here were hopto's, however they were a backhoe mounted on the back of a truck!

dayexco
03-24-2007, 10:44 AM
The first hoes around here were hopto's, however they were a backhoe mounted on the back of a truck!
yes, all my dad's hoptos were truck mounted.

insleyboy
06-25-2008, 09:52 PM
I worked on 560, 600 and 3500 Insleys for a pile driving co In Trenton Michigan. They were the cream of the crop they said back in the mid 70's. They're problem was Cat, Kobelco and the like were gaining popularity and redefining the operators comfort while Insley, Hydra-Unit...all kept the cheap to produce heel-to-toe type controls and were very quickly a thing of the past!

Deere9670
06-26-2008, 12:15 AM
Were did Drott come into play? I know they got some history to them. I wish they still made excavators like the drotts because of the tilting turntable, so you could level yourself out with the push of a pedal.

Lashlander
06-26-2008, 02:16 AM
Hey Insleyboy, Welcome to the forum. I've spent quite a few hours on an old H3500C. It was 1 of 14 made special for the Alaskan Pipeline. They were called Pipeliners. I'm not sure what all was changed on them but do know they had beefed up swing boxes for the steep ground. It was probably the hardest machine I ever learned to operate because of the foot peddles. It had four peddles on the floor for bucket and stick, then the two handles were for boom and swing. The swing was forward and aft. I'd be concentrating on swinging and booming up and forget that my foot was stepping on a peddle. It had an 8-71 jimmy engine and it was a beast.
19704
19705

Deere, I worked for a company that had a Drott 50. The house leveler was a nice feature when it was new. However it didn't seem to take long to get a little slop in the pins. Then the house would get to rocking when you went over the side. This would speed up the wear. Finally it would have to get rebuilt. Then we'd start the process all over.

ror76a
06-26-2008, 08:07 AM
They're problem was Cat, Kobelco and the like were gaining popularity and redefining the operators comfort while Insley, Hydra-Unit...all kept the cheap to produce heel-to-toe type controls and were very quickly a thing of the past!

I have a "late model" Hydra Unit that actualy has modern style controls, it even has a pilot assist system on it. :cool2 And a dozer style undercarriage instead of the old crane style that after you broke a few lugs from digginig over the side wouldn't move 30 feet without throwing a track.
Anyone remember how the Unit's had variable width undercarriages? You would expand them out for stability when working and then pull them back in to make the machine only 8' wide so you didn't need permits to move it. Like the Drott tilting house, it was a nice feature when it was new (or at least in good shape) but could be a major pain when it was worn out.

Woodboatdave
06-26-2008, 12:24 PM
This girl stills runs great... they really were bulletproof.
She has a 6-71T and a complete bottom with about 500 hrs on it.
Trying to post a picture, but it won't let me

surfer-joe
06-26-2008, 11:03 PM
Cat for sure was late to the game with hydraulic excavators. I got a new 225 on a job in Buffalo, Wyoming in 1974. Never did know why they stayed out of the market so long, other than to speculate that they were concentrating on their core models such as dozers and scrapers. Cat was never first to the party with a lot of equipment that is common as dirt now a days. Pretty conservative at the factory I guess.

insleyboy
06-28-2008, 10:35 PM
Thanks for the welcome Lashlander. Yeah the 3500 with the screaming Detroit engine was a beast. Had 3 boom lift cylinders and would all employ when needed. Had an old D8 undercarriage. Never a problem there. I personally broke our swing gear. They had specially made a long reach stick for the C model and after a few years the extra gear if you will, was too much stress on the brake system...Took them 2 weeks to find parts for it. Hey 76a...My first job in high school the boss had the old vaiable width system,on a Hydra Unit.. Seemed odd that more companies did not use that system to reduce permit loads. Manitowoc used it on it's 2900 track model cranes but thats the only 2 I can recall that actually used that technology. Great to be here. Can't wait to post and read from you all on down the line!!!

72hayes
11-16-2011, 08:08 PM
what town is it in? do you know what their asking price is?

245dlc
11-16-2011, 10:33 PM
cat from american manufacturer standpoint....was a latecomer in the game. the old american made hydraulic excavators....hopto, shield bantam, koerhing, hy-hoe, hein warner, american, hydra-unit, warner swasey, drott, bucyrus erie, northwest, all before cat entered the market...come on dudes, help me out, i know there are more than what i've got here.

Lima had a hydraulic excavator, Poclain, Yumbo/International, Lorain, Massey Ferguson, Little Giant, Universal Power Shovel Company, at least those ones were available in the Canada and the U.S. at least that's one's I can think of off the top of my head.

renaud
12-04-2011, 09:56 PM
cat from american manufacturer standpoint....was a latecomer in the game. the old american made hydraulic excavators....hopto, shield bantam, koerhing, hy-hoe, hein warner, american, hydra-unit, warner swasey, drott, bucyrus erie, northwest, all before cat entered the market...come on dudes, help me out, i know there are more than what i've got here.Northwest, Link-Belt, Insley........
Max.

renaud
12-04-2011, 10:00 PM
what town is it in? do you know what their asking price is?
It is located in Elkford, B.C., Next to a gas station on highway(i believe it is number 43)
Sure looks tight for a 30+ years old machine.....

Deere500a
03-07-2012, 02:02 PM
82 Hopto GM upper, Cummins lower, my dad spent the better part of 15 years operating her, she has been put out to pasture the last 10 years. The trailer is needed to make her weight legal in CA.


88836

TCS
03-07-2012, 06:12 PM
There were quite a few truck mounted Hoptos here in Ct back in the day. They were quite popular among water,utility and sewer contractors that worked in the street.

245dlc
03-07-2012, 06:39 PM
Pretty neat setup do you have any more pictures of that rig? Were they able to move the machine from the operators cab like a Gradall?

Deere500a
03-07-2012, 10:08 PM
She is remote drive from the upper. When I was a kid every chance I had I would go to work with my dad even though it was frowned upon by the company. I would sit in the lower, that thing was a rodeo the front end would come up five feet in the air when he would reach out. People on the sidewalk would look in amazement thinking that an 11year old kid was the one jocking that thing around. She was at the end of an era, the truck mounted hoes, there were fleets of W&S 500/550's doing petroleum work around here, there all gone I have only seen two in the last 25years. As far as we have been told she is the only truck mounted Badger 211 built.


88840

245dlc
03-07-2012, 11:04 PM
Yeah it's kinda funny how it's gone that way, Gradall and Badger are the only ones making excavators on truck chassis, I imagine it must of had a screaming jimmy on it too?

Deere500a
03-07-2012, 11:24 PM
That is all that is out there fixed boom Gradalls but excavator boom dipper has gone to the 4 wheeled carriers.The truck is the weak point it is under built made for the small hoes of the time. The upper has a sweet 4-71 Detroit & the lower has a 555 cummins.

245dlc
03-07-2012, 11:26 PM
Yeah the four-wheeled carriers are pretty nice being able to work off all sides, but they are pretty slow on the road.

Taylortractornu
03-07-2012, 11:31 PM
I worked with an old man that had some old gravel pits. He had an old truck mounted Hopto that he used alot. He often got folks asking why not get a tracked unit. He would say can your tracked unit drive to a job at 45 mph. He had different grades of gravel in other pits and would drive from one to another loading out. He also had a boulder quarry he sold landcape boulders out of. It was handy running between them and later added a thumb.

renaud
01-12-2013, 09:43 AM
Here's a nice video i found on youtube.......
That 311 looks as tight as a brand new machine and the Jimmy sounds just great!!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uon23LF6-Gc
theire is another video of a 211.........
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJyVSVki49c
Enjoy!!
Max.

renaud
01-12-2013, 10:19 AM
http://s1288.beta.photobucket.com/user/olygremlin/media/hopto0010_zpsf2846f62.png.html?sort=3&o=0#/user/olygremlin/media/hopto0010_zpsf2846f62.png.html?sort=3&o=0&_suid=1358003976937022514301315565466
This is a 550.I am standing on the track of it.Picture was taken back in September of 1983......does time ever fly!!!!!
http://s1288.beta.photobucket.com/user/olygremlin/media/vacances2009131_zps9e2e9da6.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1#/user/olygremlin/media/vacances2009131_zps9e2e9da6.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1&_suid=135800505465609642991150733298
I found this Hopto 700 in Dickinson, North Dakota.
By the look of it, either it does'nt have too many hours, either its owner took a hell of a good care odf it and stored it inside most of its life!!

This is a 1977 model 900.It is located south of Quebec city. It is powered by a Detroit 8V71.It weights approximately 100 000pounds(+- 45 tons)It has the same owner since new (wich happends to be a former Warner & Swasey dealer); he still use it every now and then to do work around his property..It has roughly 3000 hours.

http://i1288.photobucket.com/albums/b484/olygremlin/Hopto900St-Appo-8_zpsb6c8809c.jpg
Max.

Dean A
03-13-2013, 09:31 PM
Insley, P & H ( poor and helpless ), John Deere 690, you got most of them.

FirstEliminator
03-17-2013, 12:56 AM
Poor & Helpless? lol. I'm not professional, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night. But, I happen to like my 1973 P&H H312. Not sure how it compares to other excavators of the time. It has two foot pedals to control the tracks. Sounds excessive to have multiple pedals to control the bucket and stick. I guess if you're used to it, then it's no problem.

Mark
North Adams, Massachusetts